Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homestead Highlight: Angela

My greatest inspiration in my own backyard farming adventure has been to hear the experiences of others. I invite you to read along here as Homesteaders share their adventures and experiences from their own farms, backyards, and homes.

Want to be featured as a Homestead Highlight? I would love to hear about your experience. For more information follow the link to the information page and share your own homestead here at the Backyard Farming Connection!

Today I welcome Angela to this space. 


Angela England - Mother of five living in rural Oklahoma with her husband and five children, Angela is the Founder of Untrained Housewife. She is the author of Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) (Alpha Books, 2013) and when she gets away from home, it’s usually to speak at a blog conference. She loves empowering others with whatever is the next step on their self-sufficiency journey but calls herself a get-it-done’ist, not a purist.












 How long have you been backyard farming? What got you started?
I learned more about the concept of backyard farming and that homesteading mindset when I got married. Having grown up in the big city of Anaheim in Southern California, farms were something you visited once a year as a field trip with school. After moving to Oklahoma as a teenager, I met my husband Sidney who had grown up on an 80 acre ranch raising cattle and growing much of their own food as a matter of daily routine. Our upbringings were vastly different and together since our marriage, we've embraced a lifestyle more similar to his upbringing than to mine.

What does your backyard farm look like? Where is it?



We live in a rural town in Oklahoma and are just within the city limits. Thankfully our house is on a relatively large corner lot and our city's restrictions are minimal. We have housed on this 1/4 acre space a productive garden, a good size chicken flock, and two milk goat nannies as well.

What has been your biggest success and biggest mistake?

Some of our biggest mistakes have involved our animals. When a crop fails I don't feel as bad, but when raccoons break through your fencing and nearly wipe out your entire flock in an single evening you feel devastated. The idea is to provide a healthy and happy environment for your chickens - not serve them up as free pickings! I think that underestimating how a group of raccoons will work together to undo simple latches, flush out the chickens to get them where others in the group can reach them, etc was a huge mistake. I've learned that if it has a digestive system it will eat a chicken!


Our biggest success was surviving the recent drought with not only a decent, but abundantly productive garden. It was a big test of our organic growing methods - especially once our city implemented a watering ban - but our garden survived and produced well with grey water, mulch, and careful heirloom variety selections. It was eye-opening to see our small backyard garden out-produce the several-acre garden at my in-laws ranch.

What plans do you have for the future?

 


Now that Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) has officially launched I see myself speaking and teaching workshops a lot more. I already have gigs scheduled in Tulsa, Dallas, LA, Orlando, and elsewhere in the coming year. For our personal Backyard Farming my goal is to get out of this house we are in now and move to a 25 acre place outside city limits where we will be able to expand the number of animals we are keeping, and the types of plants we are growing. I want a huge asparagus patch for starters!



People can find me at http://UntrainedHousewife.com and more details about Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) at http://BackyardFarmingGuide.com. There are over $600 worth of Backyard Farming themed giveaways going on until December 18th so be sure to check it out at http://BackyardFarmingGuide.com/launch-party. On twitter I'm @AngEngland.

Please stop by tomorrow to see a book review of Angela's new book!

9 comments:

  1. Another great and inspiring story! I feel like I leave the same comment for each story, but it is truly inspiring to see so many others wanting to grow their own food and connect with nature. The backyard farming movement seems to be rolling full steam ahead and it is really starting to have an impact on factory farming and GMO food sold in the grocery stores. This is something that each and every person can do for themselves to live a healthier life. I am so happy to be a part of this and am grateful that Gretchen is doing these homestead highlights! Thanks for sharing your story!!
    ~Rob

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  2. Rob - I agree. I have a trailer for my book where I briefly mention the PROBLEM - and then I introduce the solution...more people growing more of their own food for themselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOvLboe3CyM

    We ran the experiment once in our nation's history during the Victory Garden era when 20 million American homes had gardens and we collectively produced 40% of the produce consumed in America. Pg 4 of Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) :-D It has been before and it can be done again - only this time we have modern techniques and knowledge on our side to prevent regional soil deficiencies and to be able to grow more intensively. It's an exciting time!

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    1. Angela, I just shared your trailer on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bepasgarden :)

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  3. What an inspiring story! I love hearing about how people can get so much out of such a small piece of land. I need to adopt the idea of being a get-it-done’ist instead of a purist! I try to remind myself it's about progress, not perfection.

    I love the photo with the goats! So sweet. I hate to hear about the raccoons getting to the flock. I always worry about that as well as there are always predators out to get your flock. Luckily we haven't had any predator attacks. I know I would be completely devastated if that happened. I think our guard dog helps a lot in keeping our flock safe.

    Thanks for another great highlight!

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  4. Our Neck of the Woods - EXACTLY...it's never something to "arrive" at - it's totally a journey. Always. Ask even experienced homesteaders who have been self-sufficient for thirty years and they will be talking about next year trying this and I heard so and so does that....You just have to jump in there and DO IT. :-)

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  5. Thanks for sharing your story here Angela, you bring such a variety of knowledge to your backyard farm, and it's encouraging to hear how much you get from such a small space!

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  6. Oh wow. Small world. I started following your "Renaissance Woman" a few weeks ago and had no idea that you were a homesteader *and* a fellow Okie. We just moved onto our acreage in Northeast OK and are in the process of getting started. Prior to that we lived in Tulsa and grew out of our urban homestead ~ hence the move. It is so nice to meet you and I'd love to know when you will be in the Tulsa area with your book.

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  7. Thanks for linking up on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

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  8. hi, i'm following the "farmgirl friday blog hop" i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

    http://www.blackinkpaperie.blogspot.com

    thanks
    new follower bev

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